Professional Development Presentation

Transcript for the PowerPoint Presentation:

Welcome to this professional development presentation.

This presentation will showcase the International Society for Technology in Education or ISTE.

We begin by taking a look at the benefits of membership.  If you are looking for a professional organization to connect with other technology educators, grow your technology skills, collaborate, and find solutions to your classroom needs then you should join ISTE.  With a community of over 15,000 educators, this organization offers a plethora of online journal articles, blogs, videos, professional development events, and much more.  Members additionally receive newsletters, topic guides, ebooks, and discounts to IS-TE’s conferences and events. For inclusive technological professional advancement, educators should consider membership in IS-TE.

Next, we will showcase a few of the resources that the organization has to offer.

Edsurge is a podcast that is connected to ISTE about the future of education. Teachers can expect to hear about vastly different topics under the general umbrella of all education: from the latest trends at the university level to online learning, bouncing back from the pandemic, or simply improving a teacher’s instruction methods. Since the first of 2020, the podcasts tend to have a more college and university focus for many of the subject matters. Teachers serving upperclassmen or those about to enter post-secondary education might see the greatest benefit in assisting those students by means of listening to this podcast.

Of the many blogs that ISTE has to offer, let’s look at the Assistive and Adaptive Technology blog. Posting since 2018, this blog has focused on topics such as incorporating assistive technology, making accessible learning for all students, and how educators can embed assistive technology into their instruction.  As teachers impact the learning for all students including those that require additional modifications, these blog posts offer valuable suggestions for meeting those needs.  Educators who serve our special needs population would find beneficial information for instruction methods and the latest technology to assist them in their professional responsibilities.  

Finally, we look at the ISTE YouTube Channel.  This is a massive library of video resources for today’s educators.  Using the provided playlists, teachers can watch hours of videos covering topics such as understanding the standards, what to incorporate into instruction, learning from technology experts, and observing methods and technology that are working and not working in today’s classrooms.  These resources offer benefits to all classroom teachers from any grade level seeking to increase their technical knowledge and become better educators. 

IS-TE LIVE 2021, the organization’s largest event last year occurred over the span of five days in June. It consisted of six keynote speakers including well-known authors, technology innovators, the president of the IS-TE board of directors as well as the CEO, and even the secretary of education himself.

Next, let’s look at just a few of the sessions educators had a chance to participate in.

This session, entitled “Why the Most Effective Teachers Are Also Experienced Designers” discusses “how great design solves problems in unexpected ways, creates curiosity, and keeps end users engaged.”  With an audience focused on teachers, principals, and higher education faculty, this session’s description captivated my attention by connecting creativity with greater student success.

The next session directly relates to my current teaching assignment in high school mathematics.  This session “How to Discover New Mathematics: Exploration and Creativity in the Classroom” takes an approach to leading students through a discovery method instead of repeating “mistakes and surprises” that a student may have experienced in previous years.  As a math teacher, I am always exploring new and creative ways to present my lessons to students that might be out of the box. This is one workshop that may have benefitted my classes.

The final session of interest called “Tools for Instantaneous Formative Feedback in the 1:1 Classroom” allows participants to explore software that provides immediate feedback from the students: programs such as Socrative, Nearpod, and Desmos.  Desmos, a program familiar to math teachers such as me, are provided activities and situations that can be solved using strategies in Desmos.

For educators looking to advance their skills in educational technology, provide enhanced classroom instruction, or even discover new methods of assistive technology, membership in a professional organization such as IS-TE would serve your needs well.

Data Collection

Our school operates on six grading periods of six weeks in length. During these weeks, there are many methods I use to collect data from my students. I use several short quizzes and unit tests as we progress through our six weeks that conclude with a more summative, curriculum-based assessment, or CBA (Stecker & Fuchs, 2000). While these methods collect analytical data, I also like to use student surveys and digital journal prompts to gain insights into my students’ current needs or at-home situations along with their hobbies, interests, and cultures.  

I have not necessarily taught my students to collect data; however, I have helped them to organize their data.  One example that has worked well is creating a data-tracking spreadsheet for each student in which they enter the scores from their previous state assessments, unit tests, six weeks exams, and benchmarks.  This spreadsheet allows each student to see the individual state standards in which they scored below passing (more specifically, the areas in which they need improvement).  It also highlights the areas they have seen growth in since the first of the school year. Students use their data to determine which worksheets to complete during the review days before our CBAs. Like Paul’s statement in Galatians, I believe that students need to take responsibility for their education (New Living Translation, 2015, Galatians 6:5)

References

Stecker, P. M., & Fuchs, L. S. (2000). Effecting Superior Achievement Using Curriculum-Based Measurement: The Importance of Individual Progress Monitoring. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 15(3), 128-134.

New Living Translation. (2015). New Living Translation. (Original work published 1996).

Quarter-Way

Can you tell that I’m a math teacher – My post titles use math?! Two weeks behind me out of the first eight. I’ve been busy but on top of things. This is the last week of school for students, so I am excited that this year is over and that should free up some of my time each day. However, I am definitely looking forward to some traveling this summer.

Technology in Education

Purpose of Technology in Education

Technology can be viewed as an imperative tool educators use to provide and improve outstanding instruction. Students over the last decade have been inundated with various types of technologies nearly every day of their lives.  They have become accustomed to interacting with handheld devices that provide instantaneous information or feedback. Teachers are now able to harness their technology expertise and transfer that knowledge into a creative teaching tool used to prompt discovery education, develop critical thinking, and enhance student success (Reddy & Bubonia, 2020).  When technology becomes part of the curriculum, teachers see more excited learners as they master content and skills that become valuable after graduation.

Meeting the needs of students with learning disabilities is another purpose served by the integration of technology into classrooms.  English Language Learners or students with visual impairments now have accommodations at their fingertips. Accommodations such as text-to-speech, color overlay, text color, and enlarged print or magnification are now individualized without any disruption to the overall instruction (Reddy & Bubonia, 2020). Streaming services with autogenerated captions are standard defaults for videos uploaded to online platforms to assist those with auditory hindrances (Google, 2022).  

Furthermore, the access to classroom education that is granted utilizing the world wide web offers the ability for students to work on their education at their own time and pace. Secondary students can review classroom lectures and notes, interact with lesson content, view tutorial videos, and submit assignments all from their own homes at any given time of day. Colleges and universities now offer certifications and degrees, making higher education flexible and obtainable for students around the world (Raja & Nagasubramani, 2018). The plethora of information that is now available to enhance one’s learning is remarkable.

Professional Obligation

            The Texas Education Agency set forth two goals for classroom teachers: technology literacy and curriculum integration with the outcome that every student crosses the “digital divide” (Texas Education Agency, 2019). As educators prepare a curriculum that incorporates today’s technological resources, it is their professional obligation to “incorporate the effective use of current technology for teaching” and thus create an authentic learning environment (TEKS, 2000). Students who learn the use of technology while in school graduate with skills that are beneficial in higher education or valuable to employers after graduation. Therefore, it is imperative that educators actively integrate lessons involving technology.

Biblical Defense

To use a tool is to be master over it to use it to better your life or the life of someone else, not to become the slave to the tool or allow the works of evil to use it to harm you. Technology is much like that, allowing our devices to harm us spiritually or as Paul tells us in Romans 12:2, we can use the tools of technology that the Lord has provided to us for good in this world, equipping others through our unification in Christ (Holy Bible: New Living Translation, 2015).  When the printing press was invented, the world gained a new technology that led to the mass production of God’s Word. Still true today, Christians can use technological advancements to share the Gospel around the world as Christ instructed in His Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). With so many responsibilities during a school year, including curriculum planning, it is continually important that teachers holdfast to 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  These scriptures remind us that educators are challenged with integrating the tools of technology into our curriculum as a method of ministering to our mission field – our classroom.

Personal Teaching Approach

Christ instructs believers to “do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully,” a verse that I try to live by each day I set foot on our high school campus (2 Timothy 4:5). There are aspects of education that require teachers to prepare students for life after graduation, albeit higher education, military service, or starting their careers. Technology skills arise in each of these environments, and I am responsible for providing an education to these students that effectively demonstrates the proficiencies needed for their success.

References

Google. (n.d.). Translate Videos, Subtitles, & Captions – YouTube Help. Google. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from https://support.google.com/youtube/topic/9257536?hl=en&ref_topic=
9257610 

Holy Bible: New Living Translation (2015). Wheaton, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers.

Raja, R., & Nagasubramani, P. C. (2018). Impact of Modern Technology in Education. Journal of Applied and Advanced Research, 3(1), 33-35.

Reddy, S. L., & Bubonia, J. (2020). Technology in Education: Learning Opportunities for Teachers and Students. Journal of Family & Consumer Sciences, 112(1), 46-50.

Texas Education Agency. (2019, August 18). Technology Standards for Students, Teachers, and 
            Librarians. Texas Education Agency. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://tea.texas.   
            gov/academics/learning-support-and-programs/technology-resources/technology-
            standards-for-students-teachers-and-librarians 

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Early Childhood – Grade 12 : 19 TAC  
            Chapter 126, Technology Application Standards. Austin, Tex. :Texas Education Agency, 
            2000.

Differentiation through Technology

Effective teachers balance the demand of their curriculum with the needs of their students by using a variety of instructional strategies.  Strategies that address learning styles, such as auditory, visual, and kinesthetic aid students, especially those who need differentiation, to make connections, discover abstract concepts through visuals, or work in classrooms where cooperative learning and movement allow higher levels of comprehension to occur (Ramsay, 2005).  As teachers prepare lessons that address individual needs, they must continually build “rich repertories of . . . examples” to incorporate into their daily instruction (Brown, 2007).

Another method for balancing this demand is knowing your students. To gain an understanding of how a student thinks, learns, or behaves, teachers need to educate themselves about the academic needs of whom they are teaching.  Discovering their learning style can help teachers better understand students’ weaknesses and make adjustments or modifications to curriculum that allows for greater success (Brown, 2007). Scripture reminds us in Philippians 2:4, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” (New Living Translation, 1996/2015).  

There is a vast number of tools teachers have access to help them build their curriculum while addressing students’ needs: tools as basic as calculators and reference charts, to tablets, mobile devices, and laptops. The latter opens up the world of apps, software and educational websites.

As a math educator, I continually seek to discover new ways to incorporate technology in my instruction.  My classes are fortunate enough to have access to Chromebooks every day.  I utilize Google Classroom as our learning management system where I am able to assign interactive digital lessons and post discussion questions.  Our district also uses a website to assign online assessments, thus allowing my students individual modifications such as text to speech, enlarged text, color overlays and online calculators and reference charts.  Other technologies you might see in my classroom throughout the year consist of graphing calculators, stations with QR codes for use with mobile devices, and access to tutorial videos via youtube.  I also use interactive assignments online that allow students to manipulate items for self-discovery of abstract concepts.  As one type of technology will never meet the needs of every student, my prayer is that through this variety, each and every student is able to find success as we progress through the year.

References

Brown, M. R. (2007). Educating All Students: Creating Culturally Responsive Teachers,   
Classrooms, and Schools. Intervention in School and Clinic, 43(1), 57–62.  
https://doi.org/10.1177/10534512070430010801

New Living Translation. (2015). New Living Translation. (Original work published 1996)

Ramsay, N. J. (2005). Teaching Effectively in Racially and Culturally Diverse Classrooms.
Teaching Theology & Religion, 8(1), 18–23.

12.5%

Of the 8-week course, one week down. It wasn’t super bad. I feel like I planned out my week pretty decently and even gave myself Friday night off for a quick boat ride on the lake with a friend. However, the weekend hours quickly filled in and it was Sunday night before I knew it. And then, not realizing that the university is on EST, I lost an hour that I thought I had. Wasn’t the end of the world.

So – on to week 2. I think the assignment load this week is a smidge less.